Over the last couple of weeks, the pre-draft talk has been about quarterbacks. Granted, it's almost always about the top quarterbacks, and this year is no different. But there is a big difference in what the abilities of said quarterbacks are, and it isn't very good.
That's a lot different than what we've read and heard for most of the off-season. Almost since the season ended, most experts thought Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles would all go early to quarterback needy teams. The demand was so high, mind you, the Fourth Musketeer in all of this, Derek Carr, might even get sucked in to the top half of the first round, and a lot of people had him going to Minnesota.
But read these same expert opinions today, and you'd think the Three Amigos have some combination of Ebola and the Plague. These guys are dropping faster than the hopes of Cowboys fans when Tony Romo takes the field with under two minutes to go, to the point that we've gone into anti-hype mode. Take Bortles, for example..because no one else is (ba-dum-ching). For months, he was pretty much the consensus #1 pick to Houston. What about now? Well, in Todd McShay's latest mock (it's behind the ESPN pay wall), it's ABQ--anyone but quarterbacks early on. He has Bortles going to the Vikings. His reasoning:
8. Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
The Vikings are the fifth team drafting in the top eight that needs a quarterback, and I think this is the right time for them to take one. I don't know which of the QBs they prefer, but remember, these are my picks, and I have Bortles as the top-ranked QB in this draft class. Additionally, he's my 11th-ranked player overall, so this really isn't a reach at all. Bortles possesses great mobility and composure in the pocket, he has the right mental makeup to succeed as an NFL quarterback and he's a playmaker -- and I think that some of his mechanical issues are fixable with the right coaching. [emphasis added]
That's correct. The top rated QB on his board goes from #1 overall to almost out of the top ten, and passed on by QB needy teams Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, and possibly Tampa Bay. Now based on how he has the draft falling, Minnesota taking a QB here while everyone else passed makes sense, because all the other QB needy teams took players at other positions of need. So guys like Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, etc., are all gone. He even has two tackles, Jake Matthews and Tyler Lewan, off the board.
What about Bridgewater and Manziel? Bridgewater drops to 20th, and Manziel hangs around to 26th, with Derek Carr not being selected in the first round (this was a no trades mock scenario).
Do I buy the fact that maybe the top quarterbacks in the draft were a bit over rated? Yeah, I can buy that. Almost everyone tends to do that, especially at the quarterback position.
Do I buy that teams have soured on these guys so much that teams with QB situations even more dire than the Vikings (HI JACKSONVILLE WOOOOO) will take a pass? I just don't see it. I do believe one, if not two of the Big Three quarterbacks will be on the board when the Vikings select, but I will be stunned if they have the ability to choose from all three.
Remember when we were talking about the Vikings having to trade up to get one of these guys? Good times, good times...